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COMPLIANCE GUIDANCE

How to create a legally sound COVID-19 medical screening policy

Like so many other companies during the coronavirus pandemic, you may be considering medically screening your employees each day before letting them into the workplace. While screening is highly problematic in normal times, regulators have grudgingly acknowledged that it may be a justified health and safety measure during the pandemic. The operative phrase is “may be,” which means that limits still apply. You need to recognize and ensure keep your facility in compliance with those limits. Here’s how. Three Ways COVID-19 Screening Can Get Your Firm into Legal Hot Water Medically screening  personnel can expose you to three kinds of liability. Privacy Violations Body temperature and information about an individual’s symptoms (or lack thereof) collected during the screening process is personal health information (PHI) protected by HIPAA and other privacy… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Coronavirus pushing rapid changes in employer law

By Mike O’Brien bio Employer  law is rapidly changing amid the coronavirus pandemic. For one thing, Congress has passed another coronavirus related law. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has provided some helpful guidance and answered a number of questions about the recent expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and about the new paid sick leave law, see: DOL FFCRA Q&A. Here are updates:  PAID LEAVE UNDER THE EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT (EPSLA): Employees of covered employers (private employers below 500 employees and certain public employers) are eligible for up to two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave for certain COVID-19 related reasons. If leave is because he/she is quarantined (by government order or a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

New overtime rule now in effect

By Mike O’Brien bio Jan. 1, 2020 was the deadline to comply with new FLSA overtime rule. At the end of September the Department of Labor issued its long-awaited final rule updating the salary level test for white-collar overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the new rule, the minimum salary level for exemption is raised from $455 a week to $684 a week, or $35,568 annually. The change marks the first increase in the minimum salary level to take effect in more than 15 years. It is expected to bring overtime eligibility to over a million employees who are ineligible under the current threshold. Although the DOL released a final rule raising the salary level in 2016, the rule was blocked by a federal district court and… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Pay rates, vacations while recovering, gig economy

Department of Labor enters final stage of update to ‘regular rate’ rule under FLSA. As we have discussed previously in these updates, the Department of Labor has been working to update the definition of “regular rate” of pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act

RISK MANAGEMENT

4 bad financial habits that may increase your policy premiums and your malpractice risk

Ineffective billing and collections practices affect more than the bottom line. They ultimately may determine what the firm has to…


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OFFICE PROCEDURES

5 benefits of rules-based calendaring software

1. Use of automated rules-based calendaring software may entitle your firm to discounts for…


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MANAGING THE OFFICE

To-Dos: Your September office checklist

Now that the summer is over and you’re facing the final quarter, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Here are some important tasks you…


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RISK MANAGEMENT

How to reduce the risk of in-office theft

Theft in law firms comes from all corners, from staff to partners.
“It happens more than people realize,” says St. Louis legal management consultant John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC. In fact…


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REDUCING MALPRACTICE SUITS

How and why you need to carefully screen cold calls from potential new clients

What’s your firm’s process for dealing with a potential new client? What happens when someone sends the firm an email asking for a quote for a real estate transaction or when a frantic caller leaves a…


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COMPLIANCE

How to investigate an employment-related complaint from a staffer

Got a complaint from an employee? Investigate it. If that complaint turns into a legal claim, part of the allegation of wrongdoing may well be that the…


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